Physics Reports vol.169
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Extra resources for Physics Reports vol.169
The sun rose without fail every day as did the stars. Everything seemed to repeat itself in a precise period to which a definite integer could be assigned. This regularity led the Pythagoreans to the concept of cosmic harmony; indeed, Pythagoreans introduced the word "cosmos" to designate the universe. They were convinced that numbers would lead them to a complete understanding of cosmology and reveal the basic unifying cosmic principle. The Pythagoreans were encouraged in their search for harmony in the universe by Pythgoras' discovery that the most harmonious sounds, pleasing to the ears, are those whose vibrations are related to each other in simple numerical ways.
Born in Nicaea, Bithynea, in about 190 BC, Hipparchus spent most of Ms life in Rhodes, one of the most prominent states of Greece. Like Alexandria, Rhodes was a center of intellectual life with great activity in literature, astronomy, and mathematics. The only writing of Hipparchus still extant is his book written ARISTARCHUS TO PTOLEMY 41 in 140 BC in which he expounded upon the importance of a continuous pursuit of accuracy in tracing the apparent motions of the sun and the planets, particularly the apparent motion of the sun.
This means that the length of the earth's circumference is as many times larger than 5000 stadia as 360 degrees is larger than 7 degrees. Because 7 degrees is contained in 360 degrees slightly more than 50 times, Eratosthenes concluded that the earth's circumference equals about 250,000 stadia. 7 feet. Eratosthenes's circumference calculation is thus 24,662 miles, which is remarkably close to the accepted value today. , measure or estimate) the "dimensions of the world," We have already mentioned that Anaximander proposed that the sun's distance is 27 times that of the earth's radius and that the moon's distance is 19 times that of the earth's radius.